Shareholders scoop $10,000 from each household

Submitted by martin on 13 April, 2015 - 8:39 Author: Martin Thomas

From the new wealth produced by the labours of the average household in the USA, the shareholders of US big business will scoop around $10,000 in the coming year.

The figure was about $8,000 in 2014, and is expected to rise. It doesn't include the gains from higher share prices which shareholders may or may not cash in. It counts only the hard cash they get in dividends and operations in which businesses buy back their own shares.

Some of the shareholders are also workers, contributing through their labour to the surplus value they get back via shareholdings. The USA has a much wider distribution of shareholding than most other capitalist economies.

But the great bulk of the money goes to the rich - managers whose "wages" are really an allocation from surplus value, self-employed "professionals", and so on. On William Domhoff's figures, over 80% of stocks and mutual funds are held by the top ten per cent.

The $10,000 is only a part of surplus value, but it is one of the purest forms of surplus value. No-one can claim that it's about compensation for managerial labour, or for taking risk, or for thrift.

It's income which people get just from already being wealthy.

The gap between that sort of income, from already being wealthy, and the income which workers get from selling their labour power to the owners of wealth, is getting wider and wider.

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